Key Advice and Helpful UKCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice for Applicants

Are you prepared for the Verbal Reasoning part of the UKCAT? As you might be aware, or even if you’re not, the UKCAT – that’s the United Kingdom Clinical Aptitude Test – is split into FIVE sections. One of which we are about to go through with some examples. So let’s get going with some ukcat Verbal Reasoning practice…


What Does it Test?

The verbal reasoning section of the ukcat has been prepared to assess candidates on their ability to read a passage and find relevant information as well as analyse the information as quickly as possible.

The concept behind this is to see how well students cope with understanding a situation in front of them and their ability to make decisions from the key points. All of which are important traits of a doctor or dentist.

Question Style and Format

Timing, as with everything in the ukcat, is key. In this section, applicants are given only 21 minutes to answer 44 questions – yes, that’s just under 30 seconds per question! Given the fact that in this time you have to read and digest a passage of text, it may seem the scariest section of the ukcat. However, it’s perfectly doable with some practice.

In the ukcat verbal reasoning section, applicants are presented with a passage of text. There are typically 11 separate passages and each will have four questions regarding the information given in the passage.


There are two types of verbal reasoning questions:

Type 1: True or false

Students will be asked if the statement given within the questions is true or false when relating back to the information in the passage. As a small note, there is also an option for ‘cannot tell’. This option should be used if there is not enough information to make up your mind. It should also only be used when you’ve actively sought a piece of information within the text to support one of the answers, but you cannot find it.

It’s also worth mentioning that applicants should only respond with the information that’s provided. So even if you know more about a certain passage given, only respond based on the information in the passage– nothing extra. For example, imagine if it was a passage about something that happened in history, but it fails to mention a certain event. Don’t reference that event in your answer. Keep to the information given. It’s not a test of general knowledge!


Type 2: Response-based

In this type of question, applicants are given a stem question/statement and have to select the most appropriate response based on the question. There is only one right answer here. So no matter what you do, select only one answer (even if there seems like more than one correct response). Remember there is no negative marking in the ukcat if you get an answer wrong.

As the first section in the ukcat, verbal reasoning can always seem a daunting section to start off with. However, with lots of practice you’ll gain more confidence and finding the correct answers to these questions will seem like a breeze.

Let’s have a go at a UKCAT Verbal Reasoning Practice Question:

The following examples provided below are taken from The Ultimate UKCAT Guide and Practice Papers Volume 1 and 2 which are readily available on our website and on Amazon.

Type 1 Example Question: True, False or Can’t Tell

Read the passage below and out of the statements listed below (1-5) which is true, false or can’t tell.


It’s a good idea to read the answer statements provided below the passage to determine what information you should be looking for in the text. If you come across a large piece of text, it’s worth flagging that question to come back to later. It’s better not to waste your time reading when you can answer questions with shorter passages of text. Remember about the time limit for this section – you don’t have long!

We’ll leave you to ponder the answers to this question whilst we take a look at an example of a type 2 question…

Type 2 Example Question: Response-Based

Read the passage provided and pick an answer from the following four questions.


As we’ve mentioned, a lot of these passages of text will be quite large. It’s a good idea to read through the questions first and the specific keywords to look out for. When skim reading the passage, you will then be able to pick out the exact information that you need without having to fully reread the passage again and again – which wastes time.

Remember to look at the evidence provided (and only the evidence provided, not your additional knowledge) to make an informed decision. And if there isn’t enough evidence to decide, don’t be afraid to say ‘cannot tell’.

How do your answers compare?

So, after taking a look at the example above, have you got the right answers? Let’s take a look at them….

Question Type 1 Answers:


Question Type 2 Answers:

Did you get it right? Don’t worry if you didn’t. As this article clearly states, it’s all about getting plenty of ukcat Verbal Reasoning practice before the big day.


How can you get more UKCAT verbal reasoning practice?

Now that you know a little bit about the questions and the format expected, how do you go about practicing for these questions? Well, our first advice would be to get on a UKCAT test tuition course with UniAdmissions. We boast some of the best results with many of our students tripling their chances of success at their medical and dentistry applications. It’s totally worth the look into if you want to hone your exam techniques and time-saving skills. You will also receive bespoke and expert advice from our tutors which you wouldn’t get at home.

Another tip would be to keep practicing. No matter what time of day, if you can squeeze a little practice in here and there it will be worth your while. Repetition is key to building on your skills and knowledge. Drill possible exam questions and answers into your mind and you’ll do just fine.

Don’t rush through the passage of text. It’s okay if you need to take your time reading a passage, in fact, it’s to be expected. If you don’t through the passage clearly and properly you could miss important information. However, it’s always good to get into the habit of filtering our unwanted information.

*TOP TIP: read the questions before the passage of text. Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive at first, by reading the questions first you can then read the passage knowing exactly what to look out for!*


If you want to learn more top tips on the UKCAT Verbal Reasoning section, check them out here >>>